I've written before about a local court case with international implications. Coast to coast, sea to shining sea, hopping continents and bouncing off satellites in space. Read about it, because it could happen where you are, too. You might think it can't, but it can happen to you.
Here's the meat of the nutshell as I cracked it earlier: "Julie Amero, a substitute teacher, was convicted on four counts of risk of injury to a minor for exposing middle school students to pornography on a school computer. The conviction came after she testified that the sexually explicit material on her computer popped up as a result of adware, not from any prurient searches of her own. She faces up to forty years in prison."
She will be sentenced this Thursday.
There's someone else around these parts who will not face a day of jail time, however. It's a man who sexually assaulted a three year old girl. Under a plea deal, he will get five years' probation. According to the same newspaper that has seen its Web site hits skyrocket due to international interest in the Amero case, the story behind this second travesty of justice is this: "Rockville Superior Court Judge Patricia Swords accepted the plea bargain so the girl would be spared having to face her abuser and recounting the sexual assault...Jones must register as a sex offender for 10 years, but his registration will remain secret to people who visit the state sex offender registry. Information on the list about Jones will be available only to law enforcement officials."
And so, a woman with poor timing and bad reflexes, who allowed middle school students to glimpse sexual images on a screen, will be sentenced, while a man who molested a three year old girl is able to strike a plea deal that guarantees him re-entry into a world where nobody knows about his sick predilections. A world where he can use sex to assault again with nobody, at first, the wiser.
Said the judge in the Jones case to the perp as she let him off the hook: "There is no doubt your behavior … was reprehensible -- perhaps the most reprehensible to come before this court."
But I guess the nature and intent of the crime does not matter. That's all I can deduce from these two cases, similar in nothing but the court system's inability to protect us from harm.